A man who was sentenced to life in prison after stealing garden tools has been released on parole.
63-year-old Fair Wayne Bryant is a habitual offender who was handed down a life sentence back in 1997 after stealing a pair of hedge clippers.
According to the reports, the man has a record that includes 22 arrests and 11 convictions resulting from various crimes including attempted robbery, burglary, and possession of stolen property. He was sentenced to life in prison under Louisiana’s habitual offender laws.
Following more than two decades after his incarceration and two months after his appeal was denied by the Louisiana Supreme Court, Bryant has finally been granted parole.
According to the reports, the Committee on Parole decided the senior man should be granted parole in a unanimous vote.
Bryant’s case has been debated on a national level after Chief Justice Bernette Johnson questioned the ruling and suggested that Bryant’s sentencing represented a “modern manifestation” of the laws from the Jim Crow era when African Americans received severe sentences for minor crimes.
Following the Committee’s decision to grant Bryant’s parole, Alanah Odoms, the executive director of Louisiana’s American Civil Liberties Union, called the verdict “long overdue” in a statement obtained by AP and suggested that “it is imperative that the Legislature repeal the habitual offender law that allows for these unfair sentences.”
According to Odoms, district attorneys should “immediately stop seeking extreme penalties for minor offenses.”
Prior to the 63-year-old’s release, Bryant admitted that he “had a drug problem” but insisted that he “had 24 years to recognize that problem and to be in constant communication with the Lord to help me with that problem.”
As a part of his parole conditions, Bryant will be required to observe a curfew that takes place from 9 pm to 6 am. His conditions also include community service and attendance of meetings organized by Alcoholics Anonymous.
Recommended Video For You!
Woman Attempts To Steal Packages From A Porch Then Slips And Falls